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Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2018 Feb;88(2):209-216. doi: 10.1111/cen.13512. Epub 2017 Nov 29.

Impact of hypercortisolism on skeletal muscle mass and adipose tissue mass in patients with adrenal adenomas.

Author information

1
Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, and Nutrition, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
2
Division of Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
3
Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
4
Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital of Patras, Patras, Greece.
5
Department of Endocrinology, Metabolism University Hospital of Patras, Patras, Greece.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Abdominal visceral adiposity and central sarcopenia are markers of increased cardiovascular risk and mortality.

OBJECTIVE:

To assess whether central sarcopenia and adiposity can serve as a marker of disease severity in patients with adrenal adenomas and glucocorticoid secretory autonomy.

DESIGN:

Retrospective cohort study.

PATIENTS:

Twenty-five patients with overt Cushing's syndrome (CS), 48 patients with mild autonomous cortisol excess (MACE) and 32 patients with a nonfunctioning adrenal tumour (NFAT) were included.

METHODS:

Medical records were reviewed, and body composition measurements (visceral fat [VAT], subcutaneous fat [SAT], visceral/total fat [V/T], visceral/subcutaneous [V/S] and total abdominal muscle mass) were calculated based on abdominal computed tomography (CT).

RESULTS:

In patients with overt CS, when compared to patients with NFAT, the V/T fat and the V/S ratio were increased by 0.08 (P < .001) and by 0.3 (P < .001); however, these measurements were decreased by 0.04 (P = .007) and 0.2 (P = .01), respectively, in patients with MACE. Total muscle mass was decreased by -10 cm2 (P = .02) in patients with overt CS compared to patients with NFAT. Correlation with morning serum cortisol concentrations after dexamethasone suppression testing revealed that for every 28 nmol/L cortisol increase there was a 0.008 increase in V/T (P < .001), 0.02 increase in the V/S fat ratio (P < .001) and a 1.2 cm2 decrease in mean total muscle mass (P = .002).

CONCLUSIONS:

The severity of hypercortisolism was correlated with lower muscle mass and higher visceral adiposity. These CT-based markers may allow for a more reliable and objective assessment of glucocorticoid-related disease severity in patients with adrenal adenomas.

KEYWORDS:

Cushing's syndrome; cardiovascular risk; hypercortisolemia; subcutaneous fat; visceral fat

PMID:
29115003
DOI:
10.1111/cen.13512

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